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FISA: Does It Mean — For Illegal Surveillance Act?

Yesterday the Senate voted to revamp government surveillance powers and grant retroactive immunity to telecom companies, thus ending all pending lawsuits filed to uncover the extent that Bush and the telecoms violated the Fourth Amendment prohibition of surveillance without warrants. Bush unsucessfuly tried to pass a similar bill under a Republican congress, but finally got what he wanted from the Democrats.

To the surprise of many, Barack Obama voted for the bill while Hillary Clinton opposed it. (John McCain was not there to vote.)

In a statement on her vote, Hillary explained:

In my judgment, immunity under these circumstances has the practical effect of shutting down a critical avenue for holding the administration accountable for its conduct.

Obama's base is inconsolable about its candidate's vote for the bill. Obama explained his rationale directly to his online supporters. To see what he wrote,


Obama wrote:

Given the choice between voting for an improved yet imperfect bill, and losing important surveillance tools, I've chosen to support the current compromise. I do so with the firm intention — once I'm sworn in as president — to have my Attorney General conduct a comprehensive review of all our surveillance programs, and to make further recommendations on any steps needed to preserve civil liberties and to prevent executive branch abuse in the future.

If President Bush seized powers beyond his reach, should the citizens be allowed to assert their constitutional rights in court, or should responsibility be political rather than legal? I hope there is some accountability for any illegal violation of civil liberties, as even Americans with nothing to hide should fear a government that can use private information to manipulate those innocent American representatives, journalists, activists, and dissenters working on their behalf.

UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
Yeah, That's a good thing to remember. Although, my kids don't freak out because their food is touching. My wife on the other hand...
stephley stephley 9 years
It's actually still mostly fun. She gets snarky sometimes but still can be joked out of things, and still is okay with me being around. I have to remind myself not to get sucked in when she's just in a mood, just like you don't try and reason with a three year old who's freaking out because their food is touching.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
Mine are 4 1/2 and 3. They like to explore, and see what they can get into. It's fun to watch them try to figure things out. I'm not looking forward to them being teenagers, yet.
stephley stephley 9 years
Mine swims like a little fish - I doggy paddle. It's terrifying what those little people can get into - I had chimes attached to my front door for a couple of years so I'd know if the young lady decided to take off. Between 17 months and 3 1/2 she was totally impulsive, and neither of us ever knew what was going to happen next. Now there are days I wonder if I should encourage her to go make a little mischief (I don't since 13 is fast approaching and she'll probably make up for lost time).
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
As much as the kids liked swimming, I'm betting when we own our own place again, it'll have a pool. I had many late night panic attacks when I thought I heard something out in the pool. I even purchased a two stage alarm system to be sure that no one got on the pool deck when the kids learned how to open the door. Scared the 4377 out of the neighbors who I had said could use the pool any time they wanted.
stephley stephley 9 years
Somedays, we're just all cranky. I would miss the pool if I had had it, but I'd probably be sitting up nights making sure the kids didn't stumble into it. Maybe when they're older you'll be somewhere with a pool again.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
Thanks, I miss that pool. Being married to the Pastor definitely has a down-side. I was also surprised by the backlash. Go figure. I thought I was doing something funny, and it backfired.
stephley stephley 9 years
Thank you, it goes nicely with your pool too, oh and p.s., I liked the cupcake. Couldn't believe the hell you caught for that!
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
You look very good in Platinum :)
stephley stephley 9 years
ooh, we sparkle!
stephley stephley 9 years
People are still dying, someone's getting beaten up.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
We are no longer beating up Iraq. We are protecting their soverinity until their government is able to take care of themselves.
stephley stephley 9 years
Let's keep beating up on them until Iraq gets better. Let's keep killing people until there are no more bad people for us to kill - based on faulty intelligence. How do you know the intelligence is right now? My faith would be shaken to my toes if I had believed Bush.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 9 years
I really am, Liberty! It's bad. I always chuckle to myself when I'm on PopSugar and the bar says "Insanely Addictive," because that's what Citizen needs to say for me!
LibertySugar LibertySugar 9 years
You're like Al Pacino in Godfather Part III, lilkimbo. :)
lilkimbo lilkimbo 9 years
Ah! Every time I try to go, I get pulled back in. I just have to say, Stephley, that I completely disagree with your analogy. Your analogy involves two people. The war involves a lot more. I don't see how anyone can honestly say that we should just pull out now and leave the country in shambles. :puzzled:
stephley stephley 9 years
The law is just fine when it's enforced. Like I said, Feinstein doesn't question that Bush has done anything wrong, only says that bringing up impeachment would further divide the country. How can you guys keep talking about 'faulty intelligence' and still support the war? It's like starting to beat up a guy because someone told you he was messing with your wife, and continuing to beat him up once you find out the story was a lie... as if you can beat him long enough to make everything okay again.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
That's the problem Raci, the interpretation of the "proof" is falling along party lines as well. The law is being lost in the battle to get Bush.
raciccarone raciccarone 9 years
I think this debate fall along party lines, which makes me sad because laws are not republican or democratic. If Bush has broken the American law, he needs to be impeached if it can be proven. This argument as to whether it's right or wrong is irrelevant. The law is the law.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 9 years
Anyway, we've had this same argument many times and obviously neither one of us is going to change her mind, so I am going to get going. I have work to do anyone. On a Friday, too! What a bummer!
lilkimbo lilkimbo 9 years
oops, "one way and"
lilkimbo lilkimbo 9 years
Actually, if you have 100 witnesses who saw the crime one waya nd one or two who saw it another, it is highly, highly unlikely that a grand jury would agree to bring about charges. And I still don't see proof in the study, but I'll admit it warrants further investigation.
stephley stephley 9 years
The studies say the statements are false and that there is evidence that the Administration knew the statements were false when they were making the statements - that people at the Pentagon actually were tasked with finding support for the claims the Administration wanted to make. I guess when you say someone misled or lied, you are stating their intent to lie or mislead: "In short, the Bush administration led the nation to war on the basis of erroneous information that it methodically propagated and that culminated in military action against Iraq on March 19, 2003." If there is evidence of a crime, charges are brought whether the crowd says the defendant is innocent or not - if one or two witnesses are more credible than 100 witnesses who are not, the defendant can be convicted.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 9 years
I have to disagree; the study can determine if the statements were intentionally false. If the study could show that Bush knew the statements were false, it would show that he intentionally lied. If it "laid out the facts" that showed he knew the intelligence was faulty, it would show intent. However, the study does not show that he knew the statements were false. I've never said that Congress shouldn't investigate; I just don't believe the investigations will turn up any proof. In a regular criminal court, if one or two people say one thing and 100 say another, the one or two people would not be enough to convict, or even bring charges. Why would a different set of criteria apply here?
Bebeshopper Bebeshopper 9 years
Why, why does congress keep backing up this adminstration's stupid, arrogant decisions? I just don't understand. Can someone explain it to me? The raping of our U.S. Constitution can't be a good thing. I'm starting to fear our reaction to potential terrorism more than any actual, physical terroristic act. Leave my freedoms be!!! Osama Bin Laden and other radicals want our freedoms stripped. That is their goal . . . now our leaders are falling into the trap.
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